In the ’90s, Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding were fierce rivals in the world of US ice-skating. The American public quickly took notice because of their different backgrounds. Nancy was already an American champion and an Olympic medalist. Tonya was a blue collar girl from rural Oregon who sewed her own costumes.
When the two were training to compete in the US Figure Skating Championships in 1994, Nancy was brutally assaulted and couldn’t proceed due to her injuries. While she was leaving practice on January 6, someone whacked her with a metal baton in the knee and the incident became known as “The Whack Heard ‘Round The World”. Tonya went on to win the competition, and they were both set to compete in the 1994 Winter Olympics. In the preparations for the event, the public was shocked when it was revealed that Tonya’s ex-husband hired someone to break Nancy’s leg.
Tonya denied involvement, but pleaded guilty to hindering the investigation into the incident. She was convicted and received three years probation. She was also banned for life by the U.S. Figure Skating Association and her reputation was tarnished forever.
It was only in 2009 when Tonya decided to speak openly about the incident. In the clip below, courtesy of the Oprah Winfrey Show, Tonya shares her biggest regrets about her involvement in the attack. She also talks about being abused by her alcoholic mother and has a surprising message for Nancy in the end.
Nancy, now 47, recently appeared on Dancing with the Stars, dancing alongside Artem Chigvintsev. Tonya, 46, has been out of the spotlight for a while. Nancy says she never received a “direct” apology from Harding and also asked, “Does it matter at this point?”
What do you think?